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TDP-43 M311V mutation in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  1. R Lemmens1,2,3,
  2. V Race4,
  3. N Hersmus1,2,
  4. G Matthijs4,
  5. L Van Den Bosch1,2,
  6. P Van Damme1,2,3,
  7. B Dubois1,3,
  8. S Boonen5,
  9. A Goris1,
  10. W Robberecht1,2,3
  1. 1
    Experimental Neurology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2
    Vesalius Research Centre, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Leuven, Belgium
  3. 3
    Department of Neurology, University Hospital Leuven, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4
    Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Centre for Human Genetics, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  5. 5
    Gerontology and Geriatrics Section, Leuven University Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Dr R Lemmens, Department of Neurology, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; robin.lemmens{at}

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Recently, mutations in TARDBP have been identified in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS), an adult onset motor neurodegenerative disorder, as well as in familial forms (FALS) of ALS.

Here we report an A to G (931 A>G) mutation in exon 6 of TARDBP, resulting in the substitution of methionine by valine at codon 311, in one patient with autosomal dominant FALS. This mutation was absent in 601 healthy controls (1202 chromosomes). Our data suggest a novel pathogenic missense mutation in exon 6 of TARDBP (M311V) causing ALS, confirming the aetiological role of the TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) in the pathogenesis of motor neurodegeneration.

ALS is a motor neurodegenerative disease which is pathologically characterised by the selective loss of motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord.1 Furthermore, ubiquinated inclusions have been shown to be present in these motor neurons. TDP-43 was found to be a major component of these inclusions in ALS as well as in frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The exact pathogenic mechanism of TDP-43 has not yet been established but it is hypothesised that under pathological conditions TDP-43 is eliminated from the nuclei, resulting in decreased TDP-43 nuclear function.2

Approximately 5–10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS) of which 20% are caused by mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). The pathological findings lead to genetic screening of TARDBP in FTD …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This study was supported by grants from the University of Leuven. WR is supported through the E von Behring Chair for Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Disorders, and by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles (IUAP) program P6/43 of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. AG and PVD are postdoctoral fellows of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen). SB and BD are senior clinical investigators of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO-F). All authors had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

  • Ethics approval: The study was approved by the local ethics committee.